Austrian, 1877 - 1964
Wiener Porzellan-Manufaktur, Josef Böck, manufacturer (Vienna)
Tea service, c. 1901–1902
Teapot: H. 6 3/4 x W. 7 1/2 x D. 5 in.
As founders of the Wiener Werkstätte, Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser gave formal instruction to young ceramists who, in turn, executed designs created by their teachers’ regular students. In fact, Moser actively formed ties with both his pupils and the ceramics industry, and Jutta Sika, among others, reaped the benefits of those connections.
The early Schule Moser (literally, Moser School) ceramics were renown for their exceedingly pure geometric forms, which were decorated with equally severe patterns. This tea service represents the epitome of the school’s modern phase. The circular holes in the flanges and the stenciled circular motifs also typify Schule Moser ceramics. The teacup sits at the saucer’s edge to accommodate a pastry, and the stenciled images on the cup continue onto the saucer, anticipating avant-garde Russian designs that would appear a decade later. The service looks as contemporary today as it must have seemed at the turn of the century.